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  • Writer's picturezhaawano

Teachings from the Tree of Life, part 10: A Spring Musing

Updated: Feb 4

Iskigamizige-giizis (Sugarbushing Moon)/Pokwaagami-giizis (Broken Snowshoe Moon), April 22, 2022



Gimishhoomisinaan Giizis, niibina miigewinan gi-miizhigonaan. Daga giwii-bimaadiziyang ezhi-gii-bimaadizid. 
"Our Grandfather the Sun, He Gives Us Many Gifts. Let's bring those gifts to fruition by living up to them."


As I am writing a new story I think about the Spring ceremonies that are being held throughout Anishinaabe Aki as we speak. I live abroad, far from any ceremonies but that doesn't keep me from musing about it. Perhaps musing on it is a ceremony in itself? I like to think so.

Personally I never attended any spring ceremony yet but in my imagination the ceremony is paying attention to the life and the many good things that come from the east. Like growth of plant, trees etc. In spring the earth awakens like an infant is born from the mother's womb. The way I imagine it, the ceremony makes us aware that our physical health is directly connected with, and tied to, the earth. So it reminds us to take good care of ourselves in a good physical way.

The way I see it, spring ceremony is also a reference to the season that follows on spring, the summer. In summer ceremonies we are reminded of the sun, our life giver, and the south, where youth comes from. This is where we are reminded of the need to pay attention to, and heal, our emotional health. And not to be afraid to seek help if we are emotionally unbalanced. I was thinking, perhaps this is why the ceremony exhausts participants so much but also makes one feel happy? Because you realize that healing is a gradual step-by-step journey and that once you realize the importance of taking good care of your body, the April ceremony is a first solid step into the direction of emotional healing. I might be wrong but that is how I see it.

What I know for sure though is that we can only mean something substantial to others when we are balanced and feel worthy. This is why I was glad when my friend who a few days ago attended a ceremony told me he feels good about himself. It in turn inspires me to work hard and have a positive outlook and feel good about myself. I am grateful for our ceremonies.


Illustration: "Vision Quest," © 2022 Zhaawano Giizhik. Visit the art page to see details.


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